Transporters want full time operations at border posts
A section of transport sector players have blamed part-time operation at the Uganda-Rwanda border for the low traffic at the customs point.
Despite being upgraded to a one-stop border post, Mirama Hills has not attracted much traffic in terms of cargo volumes as well as increase in movement of cross-border traders.
During the handover of Ntungamo-Mirama Hills road last week, there were concerns that if the traffic does not pick up, the $13m (Shs47b) one-stop border facility will be underutilised if not wasted.
With the $22m (Shs80b) Ntungamo-Mirama Hills road now open for traffic, it is expected that the northern corridor project, meant to quicken clearance of cargo from Mombasa port to Kigali, will substantially increase traffic at the two border points.
But according to sector players, that will depend on whether customs officials from the two neighbouring countries operate 24 hours instead of the half-day schedule they are currently enforcing.
Importantly, the Mirama Hills road route offers a shorter and less difficult route to Rwanda than the Katuna/Gatuna border post.
Both projects – the one border post and the Ntungamo-Mirama Hills road were funded by the government of Uganda and the Department for International Development through TradeMark East Africa.